Some years ago it was reported that a father had his four-year-old son baptized twenty-six times in three years. When he was asked by a reporter why he had done this, the father answered, “Very simple. Each new godfather was good for at least one loan.”
Someone has said that the world is a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell “God” with the wrong blocks. That father is a good example, perhaps, of one of those bewildered people who live in their own spiritual kindergarten. He didn’t deny God, but he tried to manipulate Him. And that is something we must all guard against, particularly in our prayer-life. When we come to God with our own pre-conceived monologue of what He ought to do for us, we’re trying “to spell ‘God’ with the wrong blocks,” so to speak.
All too often our petitions to God take on the form of a monologue — as though we are talking to ourselves introspectively. And when that is the case, we have only ourselves to blame if our prayers end up in God’s spam folder. But when we condition ourselves to become constantly aware of God’s Presence in our lives, we transform the monologue into dialogue — a dialogue with God, and it changes everything.
In today’s Lesson, Mark is telling us that John the Baptist travelled the entire region of the River Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance, saying, in effect, God wants you to know you are saved! With eyes anew, God wants you to rise above the dust and ashes of ordinary existence. God has given you the means to see life from an entirely new dimension. Repent! Change!
As we move deeper into our Advent season of preparation for the coming of the Lord, may each and every one of us enter into genuine dialogue with God. In so doing, we’ll be prepared for a truly glorious ending!
PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director,
Dec. 7th, Second Sunday of Advent
If you’ve ever listened to Handel’s most successful and best-known oratorio, The Messiah, you’ve undoubtedly heard the tenor recitative, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”, followed directly by the beautiful, “every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low…” , then the exuberant chorus, “and the glory, the glory of the Lord shall be revealed..”
Where did Handel get his material for The Messiah? All of it is directly from scripture, starting with today’s first reading from Isaiah!
It is said that Handel wrote the whole Messiah in 24 days, from August 22 to Sept. 14, 1741. Now that’s inspiration!
Let us strive this week to heed the words of St. John the Baptist, to prepare the way for the Lord in our hearts, as we await our Savior.